This week, the EAC announced the winners of our 2018 Clearinghouse Awards for Best Practices in Election Administration. The awards, also known as the Clearies, provide election offices across America an opportunity to share their innovative efforts and celebrate successes. The Clearies play an important role in furthering the EAC’s responsibilities under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). Under that act, the EAC serves as a clearinghouse for election administration information.
Through HAVA, the EAC works to help implement sweeping election reforms, assist states in certifying voting systems, advance voting accessibility, and serve as a clearinghouse of election information. When lawmakers drafted HAVA, bipartisan legislation to modernize elections across America, I like to think they envisioned EAC programs such as the Clearies.
As in previous years, the 2018 Clearies featured three categories: outstanding innovations in elections; best practices related to the recruiting, training, and retaining of election workers; and accessibility for voters with disabilities.
This year’s competition was conducted in honor of the life of Wendy Noren, the former Clerk of Boone County, Missouri, and R. Brian Lewis, the former Council of the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee. Both Wendy and Brian were great friends of the elections community, and their positive impact on elections continues today. On a personal note, I came to know both Wendy and Brian well through EAC activities and my stint on Capitol Hill. We truly miss them and hope this competition serves in memory of their tremendous contributions.
Given the November 2018 midterm elections, the awards offered an excellent platform to highlight new programs. We received dozens of submissions from jurisdictions, both small and large, as well as individuals across the elections community. An independent panel of election officials from the EAC’s Board of Advisors and Standards Board served as judges.
Following a very competitive vote, we were pleased to announce 10 recipients. Please take a minute to go to the 2018 Clearinghouse Award Winners page and read about the honorees. The entries offered great insight and exemplified the can-do spirit of election officials. Our Clearie recipients exhibited a wide range of populous, from a city of 3,500 to a state with more than three million registered voters. We share their results so that other jurisdictions might replicate or build upon their efforts.
The winners in the outstanding innovations category addressed important election administration issues, such as cybersecurity training for local officials, overall efforts to effectively operate an election office, programs to extend accessible absentee ballots to underrepresented populations and ways to harness off-the-shelf technology in supporting election day operations.
In the accessibility for voters with disabilities category, our honorees showcased their efforts in training poll workers to better serve the needs of voters with disabilities, a coordinated effort for helping veterans and individuals with disabilities vote, and video outreach to assist people who are deaf.
Finally, the election worker competition highlighted great results of using high school students as poll workers, efforts to modernize training initiatives, and connecting veterans and students to serve at the polls.
From advancing cybersecurity training at the local level or helping veterans with disabilities in the elections process, the 2018 EAC Clearinghouse Awards are a testament to election officials’ leadership efforts across the U.S.
Moving forward, we will continue highlighting the Clearie winners through blogs and additional outreach. On behalf of my three fellow Commissioners, I am pleased to follow through on the promise of HAVA by awarding EAC Clearies to these well-deserving state and local election officials.